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Assessment in single-structure education


5.Single-structure primary and lower secondary education

5.3Assessment in single-structure education

Last update: 21 December 2022

Pupil assessment


Evaluation and marking may be formative and summative, which may be expressed by either marking scale. 

Formative evaluation is used to evaluate partial outcomes and performance of the pupil, and it has mainly a motivational character. The final evaluation in individual subjects usually takes place at the end of the first and second terms of the school year to give the most objective evaluation of the pupil’s knowledge in a particular subject and behaviour. 

Marking is one of the forms of assessment; its outcomes are expressed in a five-grade scale. 

Only the pupils who passed the examination, can progress to upper grade. The amendment to the Education Act (SK) abolished the possibility of verbal assessment on a certificate for preparatory, zero and first to fourth years of primary schools.

The teacher obtains the information for pupil evaluation and marking mainly through monitoring pupil’s  performance and preparedness for lessons, by means of various kinds of examinations (written, oral, graphic, practical, physical skills), the analysis of different activities of the pupil and through interviews with the pupil and his/her guardian. 

The pupil of primary school has to take exams in individual subjects, in oral and written form or practically at least twice in a term. The teacher is obliged to keep a record of pupils’ marks. 

Marking on certificate is used to assess the pupil’s academic performance in individual subjects as follows:

  • excellent (1),
  • very good (2),
  • good (3),
  • sufficient (4),
  • insufficient (5).

The pupil’s behaviour is assessed using the following ranks:

  • very good (1),
  • satisfactory (2),
  • less satisfactory (3),
  • unssatisfactory (4).

A pupil fails when he/she achieves bad results ("he/she failed") in any of compulsory subjects even after the re-examination. The grades are also repeated by those who could not be marked for serious impartial reasons, such as health reasons or longer stay abroad.

The pupil who is educated according to international programmes, is evaluated according to the rules of assessment set by these programmes.

The evaluation and marking of pupils with special education needs in mainstream primary school are regulated by methodical guides. The general principles are: in Grades 2-4, with incorporated pupils it is recommended to carry out formative as well as summative verbal evaluation in all subjects. In Grades 5-9 the combined evaluation is recommended. At evaluation of educational results the teacher takes into account the psychical and physical health state of the pupil, the kind and extent of his/her disorder, if it has an effect on the level and results of the pupil’s work in the respective subject. The teacher evaluates the pupils’ achievements impartially and adequately to the demands of the subject matter, considering his/her efforts, conscientiousness, individual abilities, interests and preconditions of the further education after completing the compulsory schooling. At evaluation of pupil’s study results the stress is laid on his individual skills which are a basis of his working and social integration.

The legislature defines the framework of rules of pupils’ conduct in and outside school; specific requirements are set by each school in its school rules. The code of conduct is defined by the Decree on primary schools, according to which pupils must be clean and appropriately and neatly clothed without eccentricities. School rules are issued by headteachers after discussion with school authorities and the pedagogical council. The rules are binding for all pupils.

The pupil may be awarded an esteem or reward for model behaviour or exemplary fulfilment of his duties or a deed. In case the pupil contravenes the school rules, he may be reproached or punished by the master teacher or headteacher or expelled from the school. In case that the pupil threatens by this behaviour or aggressiveness the safety and health of other pupils, or he interferes the education and training and even prevents them, the head of school, apart from special educational establishment, may use protective measure consisting in immediate expulsion of the pupil from the class under the care of an educational employee. The protective measure serves for pupil’s pacification. The head of school or school facility will prepare a written report on the reasons and course of the protective measure.

The children of asylum seekers attending the primary schools are not evaluated by marks in the initial 2-3 months, they are given verbal evaluation only, taking account of their incorporation. At the end of the school year they obtain verbal evaluation combined with evaluation by marks. There is no fixed model of evaluation. The problem has not been solved yet.

There are provided international measurements of education results took place in mathematics, science subjects (study TIMSS), PISA oriented at reading, math and science literacy, PIRLS oriented at comprehensive reading and others.


Assessment and marking at the first stage of primary school


The assessment of pupil is realized according to the level of achieved results by

  • marking,
  • completed/not  completed.

The final evaluation takes place at the end of the first semester when the teacher makes the teaching staff familiar with the overall level of pupils’ knowledge and skills with a special regard to pupils whose outcomes are insufficient. The subjects which are not marked, are designated in the school educational programme.

A higher percentage of schools in Slovakia use for the first stage of primary school the marking scale from 1 to 5, similarly as in grades 5 to 9.

The results of pupils with developmental disorders or pupil with health impairment are evaluated and marked with respect to the disorder and impairment of the pupil.

Pupil failed if he/she achieved the grade “unsatisfactory” in one of the compulsory subjects even after re-sit;  if in oral assessment in one of the compulsory subjects he/she was assessed  as “ he/she achieved unsatisfactory results” even after re-sit.

In November, Testing of 5th grade pupils of primary schools (Testovanie 5-2015 or T5-2015) taking place in all primary schools in the following subjects: the Slovak language and literature, the Hungarian language and literature, and Mathematics. The testing serves as the entrance evaluation of pupils’ knowledge and skills at the beginning of the ISCED 2 level. It will give schools feedback on how they prepared their pupils for the transition from ISCED 1 to ISCED 2 level of education. At the same time, it will serve as an input for ISCED 2 teachers for improving pupils’ education and teaching quality. Also, it will monitor the knowledge and skills of pupils leaving ISCED 1 level nationwide.

The preparation and methodological management of testing is the responsibility of the National Institute for Certified Measurements. The organisation is the responsibility of the headteacher and the objectivity check is performed by the State School Inspection (SK) employees.


Assessment and marking at the second stage of primary school


Marking is required in the following subjects determined by the framework teaching plan, but the schools may themselves decide according to Education Act, which subjects will not be marked.

In case the pupil is not assessed (marked) in a subject, instead of using scale grades there is a word “passed/ not passed” indicated on his/her certificate and in catalogue list. After discussions with the pedagogical board the headteacher can decide that the following subjects be evaluated as attended/no attended, or when marking  compulsory subjects. The final evaluation of the pupil of the 2nd to 9th grades is expressed as follows

  • passed, with distinction
  • passed, with merit
  • passed,
  • failed/ not passed.

The pupil fails if he/she is assessed as "not passed” in one compulsory subject at least, even after re-examination. The date of re-sit is set by the headteacher so as the re-sits take place by 31st August at the latest.

The all-Slovak testing of pupils attending Grade 9 of primary schools (except for those with mental deficiencies) named Testing 9 will take place in the subjects of mathematics, Slovak language and literature, Hungarian language and literature, Ukrainian language and literature, Slovak language and Slovak literature.

External testing of pupils attending grade 9 of primary school is carried out:

  • with the purpose of all-Slovak identification of the level of educational results of primary school pupils in individual subjects,
  • according to educational standards of the State educational programme following its  content component and performance component. The respective grade and subjects in which the external testing is to be held, will be defined by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sports of the Slovak Republic for each school year, 
  • annually on the same day in all primary schools with the respective grade. The organisation provision of external testing falls within the competence of the headteacher.

Taking part in the external testing are all pupils of primary school of the respective grade in which it is held, including the pupils with special education needs, except for pupils educated according to educational programmes for pupils with mental disorder.

The pupils with special education needs are adequately adjusted the conditions for performing the external testing.

In case that the pupil of grade 9 primary school does not take part in external testing in due time, for objective reason, the headteacher of the primary school shall ask, after agreement with the legal guardian of the pupil, the National Institute for Certified Educational Measurements for an alternate date of external testing. The alternate date on which the external testing will be held, must be set in such a way as to suit the pupil for submission of the results achieved at the testing to the headteacher of the secondary school he has applied for, no later than five working days before the date of admission examinations at the school. The methodical and organisational guidance of Testing 9 lies within the competence of National Institute for Certified Educational Measurements.


Progression of pupils


After a successful completion of the respective grade the pupils of primary school are transferred to the next grade. A pupil who fails while fulfilling compulsory school attendance can usually repeat a grade once. A grade is also repeated by the pupil who was not assessed for serious, usually health reasons, nor after a substitute date.

If it is not possible to assess a pupil at the end of the first term for serious objective reasons, the headteacher sets up a substitute date for assessment so that the pupil can be assessed within two months after the end of the first term at the latest. If it is impossible to assess the pupil at the substitute date, the pupil is not assessed for the first term.

Pupils of grades 1 - 9 who are assessed as "he/she failed" in two compulsory subjects at most at the end of the second term, can have examination re-sit on the basis of the headteacher's decision. These are held in the last week of summer holidays at the date set up by the headteacher. If a pupil cannot be present at the examination re-sits for serious reasons, the headteacher allows him to take the exams by 15 September at the latest; until then the pupil conditionally pursues the courses of the next grade. A pupil is allowed to take only one examination re-sit a day. Unsuccessful pupil has to repeat the respective grade.

After completing grade 5 or 6 of primary school the gifted pupils are offered the possibility to continue 8-year study in gymnasium or at 8-year conservatoire. An exceptionally gifted pupil can be moved up to a higher grade by the headteacher without completing the preceding grade on the basis of decision by the examination commission, school physician, and educational and psychological consulting. A pupil can be moved up to a higher grade only with the consent of his guardian.




At the end of the first semester a school issues upon request records of classification of study results and behaviour for the 1st semester.

At the end of the school year it issues the certificate in which are all results from both the first and second semesters.

The certificates are issued on forms approved by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic Decree No. 326/2008 of Law Code on the kinds and requisites of certificates, including ways of evidence defining in taxative itemized way what it should contain (SK) (State emblem, name of school, grade, school year, personal data on the pupil, summative assessment of pupil, date and place of issue, official stamp with state symbol in red colour, signature of the headteacher, classroom teacher).

Certificate in the electronic form is necessary to print on the special paper containing state emblem, protective elements and a serial number.

Upon successful completion of the last year of educational programme for the first stage of school the pupil receives primary education. The certificate with supplement in grade 4 shows "Pupil has received primary education".

Upon successful completion of the last year of comprehensive part of educational programme for the second stage of school the pupil receives the lower secondary education provided by primary school. The certificate with supplement shows "Pupil has received lower secondary education". If the pupil completes fulfillment of compulsory school attendance in lower grade than grade 9, his/he certificate with supplement from the respective grade completed shows "Pupil has received primary education".

A specially gifted pupil may complete primary school before finishing nine years. His/her certificate with supplement shows "Pupil has received lower secondary education".

The number of years of compulsory school attendance will be indicated in the school certificate on a prescribed form approved by the ministry upon pupil’s completion of the primary school. The school will issue the certificate to the pupil at the end of the first half a year for a certain time and for ever at the end of the school year.  The final certificate is issued upon completing the first part of the first level of basic study, the second part of the first level of basic study as well as after completing the study for adults. The final certificate of pupil who successfully completes the first part of the first level of basic study is added the supplement showing "pupil has completed primary education in art". The final certificate of the pupil who successfully completes the second part of the first level of basic study is added the certificate showing "pupil has completed the lower secondary education in art". The certificate contains marks in subjects shown in educational programme in the appropriate field of education according to the year he/she completed and his/her overall evaluation in the respective school year.


Legislative references


National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2008. Act No. 245/2008 on education and training (Education Act) and on the change and supplement to some acts as amended by subsequent provisions (Zákon č. 245/2008 Z.z. o výchove a vzdelávaní (školský zákon) a o zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov v znení neskorších predpisov) (last accessed 21/12/2022).

National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2003. Act No. 596/2003 on state administration in education and school self-government and on change and supplements of some acts as amended by subsequent provisions (Zákon č. 596/2003 Z.z. o štátnej správe v školstve a školskej samospráve a o zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov v znení neskorších predpisov) (last accessed 21/12/2022).

Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, 2022. Decree No. 223/2022 on primary school (Vyhláška č. 223/2022 o základnej škole) (last accessed 21/12/2022).

Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, 2022. Decree No 21/2022 on pedagogical documentation and other documentation (Vhláška č. 21/2022 o pedagogickej dokumentácii a ďalšej dokumentácii) (last accessed 21/12/2022).